Get an Alabama Fishing License

Whether you want to fish the Mobile Delta or Alabama State Public Fishing Lake, you’ll need to make sure you comply with the fishing license requirements. Learn the steps to purchase your license before your next outing.

Get an Alabama Fishing License
Fishing License

Alabama Fishing License Requirements

In Alabama, like elsewhere, anglers are required to purchase a license to fish to protect and enhance the state’s aquatic resources. The rules apply to both residents and non-residents alike.

Residents need to have a recreational license to fish in Alabama. if you’re 16 and older. There are some exceptions, however. The following individuals are exempt:

  • Residents 65 and older with valid proof of residence and age
  • Resident landowners and their immediate family
  • Residents who are home on military leave with ID and paperwork in their possession
  • Residents fishing from the bank in their county of residence with a hook and line (live bait only)

For non-residents, everyone 16 and older must have a license.

Freshwater Fishing Licenses

If you’re a recreational angler who wants to fish a freshwater body of water, you’ll need to purchase a license. It’s important to note that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a map that spells out locations where reciprocal fishing licenses with Mississippi and Tennessee will be honored.

If you’re a resident, you’ll need to prove your residency. The resident is defined by your driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card. There are several different types of freshwater licenses available to residents:

  • Annual License: This license is valid from September 1 – August 31. The current cost is $14.05.
  • Daily License: If you just want to purchase a license for a day to fish in a State-owned county Public Fishing Lakes, it costs $6.45.
  • Lifetime License: These licenses are valid for the lifetime of the license holder, even if you move out of state. The cost for this type of license varies by age.
  • Disabled Licenses: There are multiple disabled freshwater fishing licenses available, including those for 100% physically disabled residents and disabled military veterans.

As a non-resident, you’ll need to have the appropriate recreational license to fish in the state. Your options include:

  • Annual
  • 7-day trip
  • Family 3-day trip
  • College Students
  • Public fishing lakes license valid only in state-owned Public Fishing Lakes
  • Disabled 3-day event license

Since some of the fees for these licenses depend on your state of residency, the costs for all of these non-resident options can be found on the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website.

Saltwater Fishing Licenses

Saltwater licenses are required only in certain areas in the Mississippi Sound, Mobile Bay, Bon Secour Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. There is a map on the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website that shows the areas where a saltwater fishing license is required.

Saltwater license options for both residents and non-residents include:

  • Annual
  • 7-day trip
  • Pier
  • Spearfishing
  • Disabled and disabled veterans
  • Reef fish endorsement

To see the costs for the current season, visit the Department’s website.

It’s important to note that even if you have not been required to purchase an annual saltwater license, such as those who are 65 or older or only fishing exclusively from a pier, you’ll still need to complete the saltwater angler registration. Registration is free.

Where to Buy Your Alabama Fishing License

You can purchase an Alabama fishing license online. You can pay with a debit or credit card and immediately print your license.

You can also purchase your license in person. There are several ways to do this:

  • Tanner or Jacksonville District Offices of the Department
  • Your local probate office
  • Your local license commissioner
  • Various license agents